Costume Advice from the Perseverance Expert

One of my favorite things about Halloween is the costumes!  I love any chance to dress up.  Don’t believe me?  I’ve been twitter organizing the Life List Club members to be classic horror flick monsters.  Picture it:  Marcia Richards as Morticia from the Addams Family, David Walker as the Wolfman, Gary Gauthier as Dracula, Pam Hawley as The Fly, and if I get to be the Madeline Kahn version from Young Frankenstein, then I’ll play the Bride of Frankenstein.  Gene Lempp, our honorary LLC member, offered to be Frankie himself.  So, Sonia, Jennie B., Lyn, and Jenny H….it’s only a matter of time, choose your monster, or I’ll choose one for you!  LOL

Over the years I’ve had to get pretty creative with my costumes.  My parents didn’t believe in buying ready made costumes; whatever we wanted to be we had to make it ourselves.  I’m pretty sure that’s why we have a family photo of me as a fairy wearing my Easter dress and a turquoise tinsel wig, my brother is a bum with a drawn-in mustache and pillowcase sack, and my sister is Charlie Chaplin.

The plus side of homemade costumes is that you have to think outside the box, be creative, inventive and resourceful.  All qualities that I, your perseverance expert, feel I have.  Just look at my Halloween costumes the last five years and you’ll see it!

     Lion:  In 2006, I was supporting myself in my first year living off campus.  I had three jobs, paid my own bills, and bought my own groceries.  Money was precious.  So when Halloween rolled around, I went simple: Lion.  I curled my hair, balled up two buns and made ears, wore the only brown clothes in my closet, and drew some whiskers.  Bam!  I mean, RAWR!  When in doubt, or poor, go for the animal trend, it is always in style.






     Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman:  The next year I went as one of my all time favorite guilty pleasures Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.  You can’t read it, but in that photo, I was “hanging up my shingle.”  The magic of a costume is in its details.  I bought the skirt, shawl, and my “medicine bag” at a local thrift shop.  While my friends that year dressed up as Unicorns, Corpse Brides, and Playboy Bunnies, I couldn’t have been happier rocking my Dr. Mike outfit.  Passion, confidence, and a heart full of fun can make your night on the town all the better.




Incredible Hulk like Gin and Tonic

The Incredible Hulk:  Ok, so this year obviously needs a backstory.  I was am still working my butt off, supporting myself.  And this year, Halloween sort of crept up on me.  Before I knew it, the day had arrived and I still didn’t have a costume.  I worked in the morning, and then ran to the store to scope out the remaining costumes.  *gasp*  I know, this was the only year I bought a pre-made costume.  Problem was, I’m petite and all the adult costumes left were like XXL.  But Perseverance Experts know how to improvise!  This is child’s Incredible Hulk costume that I stuffed my body into.  I had to buy some green tights and a longsleeve green shirt to wear underneath.  I also had to cut the neckline open to breath and I ripped several seams throughout the night, but I was a hit!  Strangers got their picture with me!  So I say, if you’re in a hurry, seek out your inner superhero.



     Medusa:  Now this costume is a particular fave.  As a kid we learn the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  Why not do this with costumes too?  I borrowed this one from my sister who made it with her husband the previous year.  The dress is a simple sheet material toga with some gold jewelry.  Then buy a bulk bag of toy snakes that wiggle or bend and spray paint them green.  Adhere snakes to a wire cap, and place over a fabric cap for comfort.  Don’t look now, you just got the evil eye from Medusa!  Every time I moved my snakes moved with me and people oohed and aahed all night.  Dancing was a little tricky, but totally worth it!





     Mrs. Peacock:  Last year’s costume was a group effort because more heads are better than one.  A friend and I went to the thrift store and held our own “supermodel documentary hour,” AKA fashion show with the craziest dresses we could find.  Suddenly the idea hit me.  The cast of the board game CLUE.  I purchased the perfectly peacock colored dress with the feather sleeves.  I went to the craft store and bought a pack of peacock feathers for my hair and made earrings.  I borrowed the belt, glasses, and wrench from friends.  This was a great ensemble idea and friends felt like part of team!




So there you have a brief history of costume advice from your perseverance expert.  I’ll bet you have more clever ideas.  Tell me, what have been your favorite Halloween costumes over the years?  Do you make your own, recycle with friends, or elaborate on pre-made?  No matter how you style up, have fun…or else!  It was Mrs. Peacock with the wrench in the blogosphere!  

30 responses

  1. My favorite Halloween costume was the year I dressed up as Dexter Morgan (from the hit TV series Dexter. Simple to make: khakis, a button-up shirt, some blood-spattered latex gloves, a syringe and a doughnut box. Voila! I was quite the hit at work…well, to the few people who actually got the reference!

    1. Awesome costume idea! Did you bring your “dark passenger” with you?

      1. My dark passenger is always with me…

        1. Excellent!

  2. I love the Medusa and Mrs Peacock idea! I was almost Medusa this year, but I couldn’t find a dress I liked. I’m not talented enough to use a sheet.

    1. Mine certainly wasn’t fancy. The “headgear” was the magic maker. I had one snake that would sway over my eyes and follow people. It was awesome. I named him Victor.

  3. Great costumes, Jess! As a kid we always had homemade costumes. I guess I loved being a hobo because I chose it a few times. I haven’t dressed in costume since I was a kid, though I’d love to. I’m afraid I won’t be prepared to become Morticia. I’ll be out of town most of this week through Halloween and beyond. But I look forward to everyone else’s costumes

    1. I thought of you. I just watched The Addams Family with Joe the other night! “Gomez…” “Tish…”

  4. I love Medusa – always have. There’s something about snakes coming out of her head, wriggling around. AACK! Scary. Loved the Clash of the Titans for that very reason. You looked fantastic.

    1. Thanks Patti! Funny story for you, I couldn’t hear very well under all the snakes wiggling on my head. Oh well that’s why party music is loud right?!

  5. Lol…one of these things is not like the’s Dr. Quinn 🙂 Seriously cute costume though. I would just wear that.
    The last time I dressed up for Halloween I was a purple genie. I would love to dress up as an adult if I ran with a group of people who did that and had somewhere fun to go. Maybe someday.

    1. Don’t knock my Dr. Mike outfit! I love her! You can totally come dress up with me anytime, Halloween or otherwise, I’m a fan of theme parties. 😀

  6. Glad I found this post, was just looking for costume inspiration! Love the Medusa one! Hmmm…might have to steal that one 🙂

    1. Go right ahead, that costume was a blast! Have fun this Halloween!

  7. Mrs. Peacock! LOVE IT! The fact that it was a group effort, too. What a fun night that was, I’m sure!

    Have you seen South Park? I’m talking episodes from the 90s. My boyfriend invited me to a Halloween party – this was the first time I was going to meet his friends.
    My costume? Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo. Yes. I went as ‘Poo’. Everyone loved it, though. I was the hit of the party and my boyfriend’s friends gave me the thumbs up. For the record, that boyfriend is now my husband. 🙂

    1. That is incredibly impressive, Lenore! I’m familiar with the Christmas Poo, and I bet you were a hit. Pop culture Halloween costumes are always the crowd pleasers! Win any people’s choice awards?

  8. Great costumes- life has been so crazy busy I haven’t dressed up in years. I feel proud just to get the kids into costumes!

    1. What are the costumes for this year’s holiday?!

  9. Medusa outfit is brilliant! Love your post and for your enthusiasm for dressing up. As someone who owns a complete and awesome Aragorn (LOTR) costume–I feel ya! =)

    1. Oooooooooooh! Fancy, Ellie Ann! You’ll understand why I MUST convince Joe to be Madmartigan and Sorcha one of these days.

  10. Julia (AKA Jules) | Reply

    urgh, I hate hallowe’en, I never get the chance to go out – I’ve never even been invited to a party!

    My brother made clip-on fangs…. he’s going to a party as Teenwolf…. (i think)…..


    1. Teen Wolf is awesome, especially since you have homemade clip on fangs. Impressive. Have fun!

  11. I thought the Dr. Quinn costume was funny. That show was a guilty pleasure for me, too, way back when.

    I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in about 25 years, maybe more. You make it sound like so much fun, but in reality I’d be cursing under my breath, trying to pull it all together. I’ll just have to raid your closet.

    1. Costumes ideas for Madge and I to do together: the twin girls from The Shining, Sonny and Cher (I’m guessing you’re taller than me, so you get dibs on Cher – So Jealous for realzies), the Bronte sisters (but only if we hand out copies of our books and autograph them too), ABBA (we’ll need Charles and Mark to help us with this one), evil Disney villians (Maleficent and Ursula would be my pics), and OF COURSE, our Worldwide Wrestling Alter Egos – The Benefactor and Pain Austen.

      1. Ah yes, I had forgotten about The Benefactor and Pain Austen. Those are the ones!

        1. I’m thinking of wearing a bonnet with like a bloody would festering on my forehead. And thick striped knee socks like they do in roller derby. You of course need a sumo suit.

          1. Okay, I’m on it. And I’ll start practicing the Incredible Hulk clench with growl. That should work.

            1. I have experience with that. Please let me know how I may help. 😀

  12. […] a big fan of costume parties, so Halloween is my favorite holiday.  I am a great source for Costume Advice from the Perseverance Expert. Aboard the Mayflower […]

Tell me a story...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: